The score wasn’t the only telling statistic of the BYU vs. UVU men’s basketball game Friday night. While the Cougars pushed past the Wolverines with an easy 85–54 victory, the more telling story lies with the rebounding stats.
BYU head coach Dave Rose has been concerned about his young forwards not rebounding, especially as his three most experienced forwards were out with injuries during the exhibition games. Now junior Kyle Davis and sophomore Corbin Kaufusi have returned as has the rebounding.
Altogether the Cougars totaled 69 rebounds in Friday night’s game, out rebounding UVU by 33 rebounds and setting a BYU record. The most rebounds by a BYU team in one game was 67 from a game in 1976 against Wyoming. The most rebounds accumulated while Rose has been head coach is 63.
Accounting for a fourth of those rebounds, Davis led the Cougars with 20 rebounds and tallied 17 points.
[pullquote]”For me, what gets me going is rebounding. If I can get that going, everything in the game starts to flow for me, and that’s something I can control. I can’t really control when shots go in or anything else, but I can control my effort in trying to collect rebounds.” —Kyle Davis, BYU junior[/pullquote]
“For me, what gets me going is rebounding,” Davis said. “If I can get that going, everything in the game starts to flow for me, and that’s something I can control. I can’t really control when shots go in or anything else, but I can control my effort in trying to collect rebounds.”
Davis had already earned his double-double by halftime with 11 points and 13 rebounds, something that Rose is happy to see.
“You hope to build a culture of your team where those kinds of numbers or stats become contagious,” Rose said, “kind of hustle stats where your guys are competing as far as rebound numbers and steals and turnovers go because those are real individual numbers that you can strive for that can really help your team.”
Offensively, senior Chase Fischer led the Cougars in scoring with 20 points, which really got started when he hit a three and said a private message to former BYU assistant coach and current UVU head coach Mark Pope.
“I talk a lot,” Fischer said. “I kind of do that to get myself going. I had to say something to him. I was just joking around with him, but it got me going a bit.”
Pope helped recruit Fischer from Wake Forest.
The Wolverines had a rough start only scoring 2 points in the first 10 minutes of the game. They were able to decrease the margin to 13 points with 5 minutes remaining in the first half, but the Wolverines never got closer to the Cougars. Junior Konner Frey led the Wolverines with 19 points and junior Ivory Young added 13 points.
The cross town matchup is the first of a four-game series over the next four years between the Cougars and Wolverines. The last time the two teams played was in 2003.
“The whole atmosphere in the gym tonight was tremendous for us,” Rose said. “We had a great crowd. We anticipated that there would be a lot of energy and excitement and emotion in the gym as we started and there was.”
The Cougars take on Long Beach State in the ESPN Tip-off Marathon at 10:45 p.m. PST Monday night.
The Wolverines return to the UCCU Center Saturday night at 7 p.m. to play Great Falls (Mont.).